East Portland will have a new spot for Cuban food starting this April. Meridian 7, a new restaurant coming to the corner of Burnside and NE MLK, will specialize in Latin-Caribbean dishes like arroz con pollo, pozole, and ropa vieja.
Jose Leo Perez, the chef behind the Que Bola cart at Portland Mercado, will pull from his culinary background and Cuban heritage at Meridian 7, with lunch, dinner, and happy hour service. At lunch, Perez will focus on both lighter dishes like heart of palm and jicama salads, as well as bowls loaded with Cuban grilled pork lechon asado and quintessential Cuban stewed beef ropa vieja; many of the lunch dishes arrive with rice, beans, and a salad. Happy hour moves into snackier fare, like various versions of patacones, or fried plantains, with hearty accompaniments like mango shrimp salad, roasted pork, and ropa vieja. Meridian 7 will also offer several sandwiches throughout the day, including medianoches, a Cuban-style sandwich served on sweet bread, and a beef-and-chorizo burger-like sandwich called a frita. At dinner, dishes become less specifically Cuban, with everything from plantain-crusted red snapper to paella. Still, expect classics like arroz con pollo and vaca frita.
The bar at Meridian 7 will be less Latin-Caribbean focused, with everything from champagne-based cocktails and top-shelf cognacs. That being said, a menu of tropical house cocktails should be available to sip alongside plates of fried yucca and empanadas. Meridian 7 will open for lunch April 15.
• Que Bola [Official]